Advani, Joshi keep cards close to their chest on presidential candidate

A meeting of the BJP parliamentary board is expected on June 22 to finalise the name.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2017 00:21 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
LK Advani,MM Joshi,Presidential election
Veteran BJP leader LK Advani (Reuters File Photo)

BJP veterans LK Advani and MM Joshi refused to suggest any names for the NDA presidential candidate when senior ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Rajnath Singh approached them for advice on Thursday.

Sources close to the veterans told Hindustan Tiems they did not propose any name to the ministers and left it to the BJP leadership to take the call. Singh and Naidu had a closed door meeting, separately, with the two seniors on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keeping BJP leaders and others guessing about his choice for the top post and he is likely to reveal it to key party leaders over the next couple of days. A meeting of the BJP parliamentary board is expected on June 22 to finalise the name.

Advani (89) and Joshi (83) missed ministerial berths in 2014 when Narendra Modi decided not to induct any 75-plus leader in the union council of ministers. The two are seen as contenders for the post of the President and the Vice President, but not favourite of the current BJP leadership. The post of vice president falls vacant in August.

The clamour from within the party, too, in favour of Advani as next President has gone unnoticed. “My sense is that public at large is also getting annoyed, rather angry. Wants to know why the delay and why not the most deserving Advani ji?” Patna Saheb MP Sahtrughan Sinha wrote on Twitter. “Hope you are listening - because we may not get this opportunity again. Please vote & support Mr. Advani ! Jai Hind.”

Advani and Joshi had questioned BJP’s style of functioning after party’s loss in 2015 Bihar election. Advani’s remarks about the treasury bench’s failure to deal with disruptions in Parliament also did not go well with many seniors in the government.

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 00:21 IST